Some non-farmers corruptly benefitted from the government’s US$200 million 2007-2008 farm mechanisation programme bankrolled by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for which all recipients did not pay anything.
The revelations were made by a former cabinet minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo during an interview with CITE on The Breakfast Club, Tuesday.
This comes at a time Zimbabweans have questioned why beneficiaries of the scheme were never asked to pay back the money.
Moyo who said he was one of the beneficiaries of the scheme, criticized by many for lacking transparency, said there were some people who benefitted corruptly.
“I saw some people whose names I won’t mention from that province (Matabeleland North) who were given very nice combine harvesters when in fact they didn’t have farms,” said Moyo.
“So they were renting them out to farmers and making money.”
He said it was never made clear to the beneficiaries as to whether they were going to pay for the equipment when they received it.
“I was one of the recipients of the farm mechanisation support,” said Moyo.
“In my case, when I was in Tsholotsho I got a call, a phone call from Elias Musakwa asking me where I was and it was in the evening and I tell him I am in Tsholotsho and he says I have my guys who are going to your farm to deliver equipment. And I said I have constituency work here for a week and he said, Ok, no problem, if there are people there, they will deliver.”
He went on to explain: “Indeed, they go there and deliver all they leave is a delivery slip which is signed by the farm workers. There is no other contract, there is no invoice but there are statements made that you will be expected to pay and these statements are not made to you, they are made in public presentations to say the new farmers will pay for this and the modalities for that will be worked out at some later stage.”
Moyo said no modalities were ever worked out, adding, in the end, they were told that was government support to new farmers.
“Initially, farmers expected to pay but eventually they were told that there was not going to be any payback as you call it because the government had taken on the responsibility for the programme,” said Moyo.
He however said should Zimbabweans demand that all beneficiaries to the scheme pay back the money, he was prepared to do so.
“In my particular situation, no problem,” he said.
“But I believe that this is a public policy issue and therefore it has to be done transparently, which is a major problem there. It has to be done lawfully.”